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Gov. Ivey, other Alabama officials share support for Supreme Court vaccine mandate ruling

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Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 3:51 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The U.S. Supreme Court has stopped a vaccine requirement for employees at large businesses.

Thursday’s decision by the Supreme Court severely slows President’s Biden push to increase the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination rates. However, the Supreme Court is allowing the administration to mandate vaccines for most health care workers in the U.S.

Governor Kay Ivey released a statement shortly after the decision was announced publicly.

“During my state of the state address earlier this week, I reaffirmed my commitment to fighting back against D.C. overreach and calling out their political games and nonsense when I see it,” Governor Ivey said. “Ever since the White House rolled out their scare tactic plans to try to force the COVID-19 vaccine on Americans, I assured the people of Alabama that we were standing firmly against it. I said that we would win this battle in the courts, which is why I supported Alabama taking legal action against the Biden Administration’s failed attempt to mandate this vaccine.

“Today, the Supreme Court gave us a major victory by stopping OSHA’s vaccine mandate for large employers from going into effect,” Governor Ivey added. “However, I completely disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to let the mandate on health care workers move forward. At a time when hospitals around the country are experiencing shortages and burnout in staff, why would they then run more off with an overreaching mandate by the president? I do not believe the White House is equipped to tell health care professionals they know better when it comes to medical advice.”

Governor Ivey wasn’t the only state official to express her support of the ruling as U.S. Representative from District Four Robert Aderholt also released a statement supporting the move.

“The Supreme Court made the right decision,” Rep. Aderholt said. “The employer mandate issued by the Administration was too broad and heavy-handed – a one-size-fits-all requirement that did not take into account the realities of workplaces and our economy. I’m thankful we have a high court that will rein in this type of government overreach.”

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, as of Thursday, there have been 1,004,622 COVID-19 cases in Alabama. In testing, there is a positivity rate of 41%.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alabama ranks No. 48 out of 50 states with a vaccination rate of 48.2%.

Attorney General Steve Marshall also shared his support for the Supreme Court ruling in a statement.

“I applaud the U.S. Supreme Court’s stay of Biden’s private-employer vaccine mandate, which affects the greatest number of Americans,” Marshall said. “This is a win for the Constitution over the most overreaching of Biden’s unlawful, unconstitutional, and un-American mandates, which sought to force some 80 million employees to submit to vaccinations or lose their jobs. As I noted when Alabama filed its legal challenge to the private-employer vaccine mandate, not only is this mandate based on a faulty public health premise—that workplace immunization will stop the spread of COVID-19—but it is based on an utterly flawed legal premise as well.

“As the Supreme Court majority opinion stated succinctly: ‘Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly,” Marshall added. “[The private-employer vaccine mandate] certainly falls in the latter category.’

“I am, however, greatly disappointed with the Court’s decision regarding the Biden administration’s healthcare-worker vaccine mandate. As with the private-employer vaccine mandate, the healthcare-worker vaccine mandate far exceeded any power Congress gave the administration, and the mandate will cause many frontline healthcare workers to find new work, precisely at a moment when hospitals around the country are struggling to find doctors and nurses. By allowing this vaccine mandate to continue, the Court has further empowered the federal administrative state, eroded state sovereignty, and likely guaranteed worse health outcomes in Alabama and beyond, as overburdened healthcare workers are stretched thinner still.”

District Six Congressman Gary Palmer released the following statement:

“This decision from the Supreme Court is a huge win for limited government and individual liberty,” Palmer said. “A person’s right to make their own health decisions does not disappear during a pandemic. This OSHA mandate was an egregious example of government overreach. No one should be compelled by law or burdensome regulation to receive a vaccine that they do not want, for whatever deeply held reason. The concurring opinion of the Court confirms the concerns a number of my colleagues and I raised in a letter to OSHA a few months ago. OSHA simply does not have the authority to mandate individuals to act against their personal beliefs and undergo forced vaccinations. As the opinion states: ‘[OSHA would have] almost unlimited discretion—and [there would be] no “specific restrictions” that … “fully constrai[n]” the agency.’”

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